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Using accessible watershed size to predict management parameters for Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, populations with little or no spawner-recruit data: a Bayesian hierarchical modelling approach



  • R. SHARMA,

  • C. K. PARKEN

M. C. Liermann, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries, 2725 Montlake Blvd E., Seattle, WA 98112, USA (e-mail:


Abstract  Escapement goals for Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum), populations tend to be highly uncertain due to variability in, and in some cases complete absence of, spawner-recruit data. A previous study of 25 populations from Oregon to Alaska demonstrated that watershed size is a good predictor of unfished equilibrium population size. Here this relationship is further developed by evaluating a series of Bayesian hierarchical models of increasing complexity. The model that performed best included a temporal random walk to account for patterns in the spawner-recruit residuals and life history-specific distributions for the productivity parameter.

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